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Libya: Qadhafi to Fire Cabinet - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat- In an unprecedented move Libyan President Muammar Al-Qadhafi has vowed to dismantle the current cabinet, accusing it and Libyan Prime Minister al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi of helplessness and failure to manage the country’s affairs, and in particular the mismanagement of oil revenue.

The Libyan leader told his parliament that large projects were falling behind schedule and that all the country’s six million citizens had the right to benefit from oil-related revenues.

The current structure of government had failed, Al-Qadhafi said.

“All citizens have the right to benefit from the oil funds. They should take the money and do whatever they want with it,” he said in a speech in his home town of Sirte.

The parliament will discuss dismantling cabinet committees over the next few days.

All portfolios in the cabinet headed by Al-Baghdadi Al-Mahmoudi will undergo reform apart from three ministries – security, defense and the ministry in charge of services and public works, Asharq Al-Awsat can reveal.

Many of the six million population say they are still waiting to benefit from soaring oil revenues and rising foreign investment following Tripoli’s 2003 abandonment of prohibited weapons programmes and subsequent return to the mainstream of international politics.

Qadhafi has repeatedly urged the cabinet, known as the General People’s Committee, to increase Libyans’ average incomes to European levels, citing the OPEC-member country’s riches.

Qadhafi’s suggestions echo the spirit of the Jamahiriyah popular rule he proclaimed in 1977 in a bid to create the perfect society in line with the teachings of his Green Book, which combines aspects of socialism, Islam and pan-Arabism.

The system is based on local town hall meetings known as Basic People’s Congresses (BPC). All people have a right and duty to attend BPCs, which in theory hold ultimate power.

Hundreds of BPCs send up their decisions through a pyramid of committees, each layer of which is involved in the choice of the next highest level, ending with parliament. Parliament chooses the cabinet, which manages daily government.

Admirers of the system, in which political parties are banned, say it guarantees people a direct say in ruling themselves and ensures stability. Critics say Jamahiriyah is a fig leaf for authoritarian rule and has kept the country poor.